Can Marketing Change the World: FIFA Advertisers

Can marketing change the world? That’s the question we’re asking in this weekly miniseries. To find out why, read the introduction here.

For today’s topic, I’m picking on FIFA. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the international governing body of football (soccer in the US). We’re all familiar with their World Cup.

I’m picking on FIFA because they’ve been in the news lately, but I could just have easily used any organization or event with ties to wrongdoing.

Many large organizations, FIFA included, rely heavily on sponsors. These sponsors, or corporate partners, or advertisers, are a big part of the reason these organizations have the money needed to finance events like the World Cup.

In cases like this, corporate sponsors have some leverage, and power over FIFA. It’s up to each advertiser to determine if they think it likely that FIFA engaged in behavior detrimental to the greater good, and if that is reason enough to no longer support FIFA financially. They can take a moral stand, and use their precious ad dollars to “force” FIFA to change its ways or address their concerns in some way.

If enough advertisers stand up against corruption, or some other negative behavior, they can force change. Money gives you power. And if you take money that an organization needs to survive away, they must adapt.

In that way, marketing can change the world.